One in four British babies ‘at risk’

By Tony Hudson

One in four babies in Britain is at risk of abuse or neglect, according to a new report.

The NSPCC's 'All Babies Count' campaign report stated that as many as 198,000 babies in the UK are considered high risk due to the environment they live in.

Two thirds of all serious cases of abuse and infant mortality involve some combination of domestic abuse, mental illness and drink or drug addiction. According to the report, babies in the UK are eight times more likely to be killed than at any other point in childhood.

"It is a major concern that the NSPCC's new findings show the most vulnerable and helpless members of our society are often at risk because of a lack of support," Andrew Flanagan, chief executive of the children's charity, said.

"Investing in preventing harm is a more effective way of spending money than trying to pick up the pieces of children's broken lives in the years after abuse has happened."

The report claims that childhood trauma, particularly in the first year of life, can lead to major health and behavioural problems throughout life and into adulthood.

The 'All Babies Count' campaign aims to highlight the vulnerability of babies and call for more government action in support of families with newborns.